Sunday 18 July 2010


The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is a fairly typical all-girls school—that is, if every school teaches advanced martial arts in PE, chemistry always consists of the latest in chemical warfare, and everyone breaks CIA codes for extra credit in computer class. So in truth, while the Gallagher Academy might say it's a school for geniuses what they really mean is spies. But what happens when a Gallagher Girl falls for a boy who doesn't have a code name?

Cammie Morgan may be fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways (three of which involve a piece of uncooked spaghetti), but the Gallagher Academy hasn't prepared her for what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she's an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, and track him through a mall without him ever being the wiser, but can she have a regular relationship with a regular boy who can never know the truth about her? Cammie may be an elite spy in training, but in her sophomore year, she's doing something riskier than ever—she's falling in love.

Wow, with a title like that, I just knew I was going to be in for one hell of a ride. And I wasn't wrong.

Cammie Morgan attends the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a boarding school that looks like an elite all-girl school to outsiders in the town of Roseville, but is actually a secret school for spies. I should probably add that not only does she attend the school, but her mother is the headmistress. Actually, Cammie's mother used to be a former spy, just like her father, who died during a mission.

It's Cammie's sophomore year, so she'll get a chance to learn a whole new set of spy intel. She shares a suite with her best friends, Liz and Bex. But when a fourth girl is added--the obnoxious daughter of a Senator who seems to get kicked out of every school she attends even though she's smart--Cammie's not too happy. Still, Macey turns out to be helpful, especially the day that Cammie meets a boy called Josh. An average boy she can't stop thinking about. With the help of her friends, they wind up running surveillance on him, which leads to some very funny scenes as they attempt to find out about him to get an understanding of how boys think. lol.

But how can Cammie the Chameleon keep a fake relationship going with a guy she's possibly falling in love with when everything she's told him about her life is false? A made up legend that she wants to keep separate from her real life persona. Because at the end of the day, she realises that for once, she wishes she could be a normal girl dealing with normal issues. Even if she discovers that she knows virtually nothing about boys, or being a normal teenager, for that matter.

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You is a fantastic book! There's a bit of everything in it--spy secrets, teenage angst, humour, action, romance, strong friendship, loyalty, adventure, sadness, and a lot of tough teenage chicks! It's an awesome mix, and Cammie's voice just made everything that much more fun. I love the way that Ally Carter can mix a very serious setting with funny bits that had me laughing out loud. Like, Josh trying to rescue Cammie. That totally cracked me up.

I loved this book so much that I devoured it in one day. Seriously. Bring on the rest of The Gallagher Girls books... and since I happen to have two more already waiting for me: excellent!

Oh, and I'm going to end this review with one of my favourite lines in this book:

"All these years I'd thought being a spy was challenging. Turns out, being a girl is the tricky part."

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You: The Gallagher Girls #1, August 2008, ISBN 9780734410795, Lothian Children's Books

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